Several studies have described associations between the diacylglycerol o-acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) K232A polymorphism and routinely collected milk production traits but not much is known about effects of the DGAT1 polymorphism on detailed milk composition. The aim of this study was to estimate effects of the DGAT1 polymorphism on milk fatty acid, protein, and mineral composition. We looked for effects that were significant and consistent in Danish Holstein Friesian (HF), Danish Jersey, and Dutch HF as these are likely to be true effects of the DGAT1 K232A polymorphism rather than being effects of linked loci. For fatty acid composition, significant and consistent effects of the DGAT1 polymorphism were detected on C14:0, C16:0, C15:0, C16:1, C18:1 cis-9, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) cis-9,. trans-11, C18:2 cis-9,. cis-12, and C18:3 cis-9,. cis-12,. cis-15 content (percent by weight, wt/wt %). For C16:0, C16:1, and C18:1 cis-9, the DGAT1 polymorphism explained more than 10% of the phenotypic variation. Significant effects on milk protein composition in Dutch HF could not be confirmed in Danish Jersey or Danish HF. For mineral content, significant and consistent effects of the DGAT1 polymorphism on calcium, phosphorus, and zinc were detected. In the Dutch HF population, the contribution of the DGAT1 K232A polymorphism to phenotypic variance was 12.0% for calcium, 8.3% for phosphorus, and 6.1% for zinc. Different from effects on fatty acid composition, effects of the DGAT1 polymorphism on yields of long-chain fatty acids C18:1 cis-9, CLA cis-9,. trans-11, C18:2 cis-9,. cis-12, and C18:3 cis-9,. cis-12,. cis-15 were not significant. This indicates that effects of DGAT1 on these fatty acids are indirect, not direct, effects: DGAT1 affects de novo synthesis of fatty acids and, consequently, the contribution of the long-chain fatty acids to total fat is decreased. In addition, effects of the DGAT1 polymorphism on yields of Ca, P, and Zn were not significant, which indicates that effects on these minerals are the result of indirect rather than direct effects of DGAT1: effects on calcium, phosphorus, and zinc content can be explained by effects of DGAT1 on milk volume. The reported effects of the DGAT1 polymorphism on fatty acid and mineral composition of milk are substantial and therefore relevant for milk quality.
- Diacylglycerol o-acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1)
- Milk fatty acid composition
- Milk minerals